Saturday, January 23, 2010

Creative Constipation

About 2 and a half years ago I fell in love with painting. It was a great creative outlet and I couldn't seem to get enough of it. There was something strangely exciting about creating what I saw in my mind, and being able to put in on a canvas for others to see.  I painted frequently, whenever I felt inspired, or just needed a place for my mind to wander to.

Here are some of my paintings...




Unfortunately, about a year ago I began to develop a horrible case of creative constipation. I could no longer shut my mind off, and my imagination was polluted with anxiousness and the voice of my harsh inner critic. I completely stopped painting, until 6 months ago I gave it another try. This is what I came up with...

As you can see I was not exactly successful. Yes, that is a dog...sniffing its crap, while the bird watching the dog is pooping.  I think my subconscious was trying so hard to un-constipate itself all that came out on my painting was crap. Literally. White canvas's now terrify me, and even though I have 3 perfectly good canvases in the other room calling my name I can't find the courage to pick up a paint brush and get started. Is there some sort ex-lax for creative constipation?

Have you ever suffered from creative constipation? If so, how did you get over it?


  1. Oh trust me, I fight this often. And it's a little stressful when your whole job depends on your ability to come up with something creative. Sometimes it helps me when I am in a funk to do something completely different from creativity (like cleaning, organizing, taking on projects that make my brain hurt.)

    When I need some creative inspiration, I have a few sites that i tend to turn to, here ya go in no particular order:
    Design Flavr
    Graphic Exchange
    Typography Served
    ISO 50
    Signal Noise

    I hope these help, I would love to see you painting again, I miss seeing what your mind creates. Art is one of those things that if you sort of have to do something not amazing sometimes so that you can appreciate more when you do really well. At least that helps me.
    I love you sister.

  2. Hmm... I think you just need to let go a little. Don't think about the crap that is going on, :) and create a happy place in your mind that will translate on canvas to something you can have fun with and get lost in the moment. We can make time for a sketching or pastel day when you feel like you want to try something different.

    When your focus is on something you want to create, you can relax and just lose yourself in the painting. If you recall, I blocked on how to finish my horse painting, but eventually came up with a solution that worked.

    Love you, relax and let the creative thoughts flow. Dad

  3. I wish I could contribute something on a comment, but I'm the uncreative one. Unfortunately I have genes that creates nothing. So sad. So be glad that at least you have skills. xoxo M.

  4. i wish i can give advise but i too am not the creative artist. i do love your earlier paintings (esp the giraffe). good luck and i can't wait to see more :)

  5. they are really good, the giraffe is my favorite. i wish i could hang it on my wall. i'm no artist but i do like to write and when i get in a rut all in can really do it just ride it out. or just draw inspirations from the weirdest things around you. like the couch or an animal. that sounds really weird. keep it up girl.

  6. Is there some sort ex-lax for creative constipation?


  7. Woah, great paintings! I really love the giraffe.

    My way to get over it? Two drinks and start with gibberish (or doodles) on the page. Then get a friend to suggest a topic. Reject that topic and come up with something you think it better. Two more drinks. Something will come up sooner or later!

  8. You made those? those are so awesome, I like the one with a giraffe. :)

    ps. I noticed you're a blog friend / reader of Cheryl from Confession Of Twenty Something Years Old. Me and a bunch of friends are trying to get her to be featured in 20SB for February. So if you have an account in 20-Something Bloggers please help vote for her. All you have to do is visit here and write "I vote for Cheryl from Confession Of Twenty-Something Years Old" or "I second this nomination" :D thanks so much before, I hope you participate!

  9. the last picture made me laugh. The best way to deal with creative constipation is to draw poop.

    Besides that you're paintings are great.